1) Maccabi Tel Aviv have to be happy with striker Aleksandar Pesic who seems like his addition is exactly what the doctor ordered for the Yellow & Blue. The Serbian may still be working on getting fit and or course fitting in with his new team. but finally Maccabi has the perfect striker up front. Pesic can play with his back to the goal he can slam home balls in the box, he knows how to draw penalties and just plays perfect football in the box. Like I said, just what the doctor ordered after not having such a marksman in a number of years. The 28 year old 6’3 should be able to not only dominate in the Israeli league but also play a big factor in helping Maccabi advance to the next round of the Europa League with three games remaining in the competition and with two wins already in the bank. “It’s always a good feeling for a striker but most importantly was taking the 3 points and the win. Step by step I am training so well and the coach is giving me the chance to play. I hope to be even better in the future.”
2) Once we’re on the topic of strikers, let’s not forget about Nikita Rukavytsya who is playing at Maccabi Haifa. The Ukrainian born, Australian international and naturalized Israeli could have been a Maccabi Tel Aviv player years ago, but it’s just didn’t work out and he landed up at Beitar Jerusalem where he scored a cool 14 goals in 30 appearances. Since the 2016/17 season with the Greens all the 33-year old has done was score 49 goals in 126 matches. Well, that’s not too shabby. It seems that every time that he is left alone in the box, Rukavytsya knows exactly what to do with the ball. If he continues at his current clip, Barak Bachar’s team will threaten for the title.
3) Netanya just keeps on winning and winning and winning while scoring and not giving up goals. Raymond Atteveld, who we featured last week just knows how to push the right buttons to get the most out of his squad. Not only does Atteveld get production he has also resurrected Hen Ezra’s career which is just great to see after the attacking midfielder had some brutal spells at Hapoel Beer Sheva, Beitar Jerusalem and Hapoel Tel Aviv. At 31-years old Ezra is the senior citizen on a squad which is the youngest team in the league at 24.8 years of age. If Ezra has found his touch they will be a tough, tough team all season long.
4) Roie Ben Shimon is a young gun who is just going to get better with Bnei Yehuda. He looked fabulous as he turned veteran central defender Orel Dagani into jello as he whipped by the Beitar Jerusalem man and then sent Niv Zrihen a great pass who scored his 7th all-time goal against the capital city squad. Zrihen sees Beitar and just sees a goal a mile wide.
5) Hapoel Beer Sheva played to a scoreless draw with Hapoel Kfar Saba in should we say a dry, very dry game at Teddy Stadium. Both sides created very little while the southern Reds looked as if they had serious Europa League hangover. If Yossi Abuksis has any designs on winning the league title, he’s got to beat a squad like Kfar Saba as he basically threw out two valuable points. At least at the Hapoel Tel Aviv and Hapoel Hadera game we got to see a goal, but that was about it from two very weak teams.